TODAY -

Humanitarian crisis : Navigating Cyclone Remal amidst the Manipur conflict

Takhellambam Nepolin *

 Humanitarian crisis : Navigating Cyclone Remal amidst the Manipur conflict
Picture Courtesy - TSE



Manipur has endured immense suffering over the past year due to the ongoing conflict between two communities. This strife has resulted in numerous fatalities, countless missing persons, and the displacement of thousands. Over 5,000 homes have been reduced to ashes, leaving many homeless. Amid these dire circumstances, Manipur now faces another grave situation: the impact of Cyclone Remal.

Heavy rainfall has recently led to severe flooding across the State. This has compounded the existing humanitarian crisis, adding another layer of challenges to an already devastating scenario. The torrential rains and subsequent flooding in Manipur have led to the breaching of numerous river banks, resulting in water inundating residential areas.

Countless homes are now submerged, and the eight districts are grappling with the daunting challenges posed by the floodwaters. Tragically, the floods have claimed the lives of three individuals, with one person still missing. However, amidst this crisis, the heroic efforts of rescuers have led to the safe evacuation of thousands of people from the affected zones.

Even iconic landmarks such as the renowned Khwairamband Keithel (Ima Market) the world’s only women’s market are not spared from the deluge, with one-fourth of its premises now submerged beneath the rising waters. This catastrophe underscores the urgent need for coordinated relief efforts to address the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Manipur.

The torrential downpours have triggered a series of landslides across various regions of Manipur, exacer- bating the challenges faced by the populace. The collapse of NH 37 further compounds the transportation woes, creating significant hurdles in accessibility. Despite these daunting circumstances, both Govern- mental bodies and non-profit organizations have swiftly mobilized to launch rescue operations in the affected areas.

The Manipur Government has established a round-the-clock control room at the Banquet Hall of the 1st Battalion Manipur Rifles to effectively manage the ongoing flood crisis in the State. This initiative aims to enhance coordination in rescue, relief, and rehabilitation endeavors, ensuring prompt assistance to those impacted by the calamity.

The ongoing rescue efforts are being spearheaded by a dedicated team comprising Arambai Tengol, Fisherman of Thanga, alongside the indispensable support of the LDA team, Government officials, NGOs, and People.

Their tireless efforts have been instrumental in evacuating individuals from the areas hardest hit by the floods. The Government’s proactive response includes the distribution of essential relief supplies to those impacted by the calamity. In a bid to prioritize public safety, the State Government took decisive action by declaring holiday till June 1.

Citizens are urged to remain indoors as a precautionary measure, unless necessary, until the situation stabilizes. This collective effort underscores the commitment of both the Government and the populace to navigate through these challenging times with resilience and solidarity.

The repercussions of the disaster are profound, with vast swathes of agricultural land submerged and a significant number of people rendered homeless. Tragically, lives have been lost and others remain unaccounted for, compounding the human toll of the crisis. Moreover, the flooding has dealt a severe blow to the economic well-being of the region.

Farmers and businessmen, whose livelihoods depend on the cultivation of vegetables and the operation of shops, now find their lands and establishments submerged underwater. This economic devastation not only threatens their immediate security but also has long-term implications for the prosperity of the State.

In the wake of the devastating floods, several prominent hospitals in Manipur, including Raj Medicity and Little Clinic, have been forced to suspend their operations. The inundation of their ground floor areas has created significant logistical challenges, hindering their ability to carry out essential tasks and provide crucial medical services.

Moreover, the flooding has disrupted transportation networks, making it difficult for patients to reach hospitals like RIMS (Regional Institute of Medical Sciences). With roads submerged under water, many individuals requiring medical attention are unable to access the healthcare facilities they desperately need.

This unfortunate situation not only poses inconvenience but also has serious implications for the healthcare sector in Manipur. The temporary closure of these hospitals deprives patients of vital medical care, exacerbating an already challenging situation brought about by the floods.

The flood crisis poses a multifaceted threat to the overall human security of Manipur, underscoring the urgent need for coordinated action and support to alleviate the suffering of those affected. The ongoing hostilities and the catastrophic flood caused by Cyclone Remal have severely impacted essential services, infrastructure, and people’s lives, as well as the economy, leading to displacement.

Despite this, people have shown remarkable resilience, and both government and non-governmental organizations have effective response processes in place. While rescue and relief efforts are underway, rehabilitation will require extensive and gradual assistance. The Government and the public must co-operate fully to restore normalcy and build a strong and prosperous future for the people of Manipur.


* Takhellambam Nepolin wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on 04 June 2024

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